White Coat, Black Art·THE DOSE

How can I stay mentally and emotionally healthy as COVID disrupts the holidays?

The longer we live with COVID-19, the more clear its toll on our mental health becomes. Now we're facing yet another emotional challenge: a holiday season when we must hunker down to prevent the spread of the virus. Psychology professor Steve Joordens offers guidance on how to cope.
People take photos of a Christmas display in downtown Toronto. As COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate, people in most parts of Canada are facing a very different holiday season this year, as public health officials plead with them to avoid in-person contact with other households and celebrate virtually instead. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The longer we live with COVID-19, the more clear its toll on our mental health becomes. Now we're dealing with yet another emotional challenge: a holiday season unlike any other, when most Canadians are being asked to hunker down within our own households to prevent the spread of the virus.

Plus, it's winter, when many people feel down even in "normal" times.

There's hope for sure — a COVID-19 vaccine is coming.  Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at University of Toronto Scarborough, helps guide us through ways to stay emotionally well until we get there.   

Where to get help

If you, or someone you know, is in distress or at risk of suicide or self-harm, here's how to get help. 

Canada Suicide Prevention Service

  • Call 1-833-456-4566
  • Text 45645 (Text: 4 p.m. to midnight ET only)

Kids Help Phone

Counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for children, teens and adults.

  • Call 1-800-668-6868.
  • Text 686868.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. 

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